When to Call Your Veterinarian

As caring pet owners, it’s important to pay attention to your pet and to take note of any physical or behavioral changes that may warrant a visit to the veterinarian. You don’t need to bring your dog or cat into the vet for every bump or scrape, but there are several situations where you will want to speak with a pet health expert.

Medical Symptoms

Your pet will often exhibit medical signs that they need to visit a veterinarian. Many of those symptoms include:
  • Weight loss, weight gain or change in appetite
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or a change in water intake/urine output
  • Change in the appearance of urine
  • Coughing or persistent sneezing

Behavioral Symptoms

A dog or cat will often act strange when something is medically wrong. If you notice your pet not acting like his or herself, it may be time for a visit to the vet. Many of those behavioral symptoms include:
  • Any change in behavior, energy level or routine
  • Mental/behavioral changes, including dullness or confusion, abnormal unexplained behaviors or fears, anxiety or abnormal vocalization
  • Change in your pet’s ability or willingness to exercise

Physical Symptoms

Many signs that your pet may need medical attention are physical. Here are a few obvious symptoms to look out for.
  • Change in appearance of the coat and/or skin (the health of your pet’s coat/skin provides insight to his/her health on the inside),
  • Bad odor anywhere on the body, including bad breath (which could indicate periodontal disease)
  • Unusual panting (for example, panting even in moderate temperatures or after mild exertion)
  • Change in the normal pink color of your pet’s gums in the mouth
  • Limping or not using a leg; trouble with mobility
  • The appearance of pain, which can be manifested by withdrawing from normal activities, protecting a part of the body or, sometimes, acting aggressively or fearful when being touched
  • Ingestion of toxic substances-antifreeze, rat poison, fermented compost, sugarless gum, prescription medications or other drugs, to name just a few. You should contact a local emergency animal hospital immediately if you even suspect your pet has ingested one of these substances.
  • Suspected or obvious eye injuries, facial swelling or insect bites or stings, especially around the face
Even healthy pets that exhibit no signs or symptoms of illness should visit the veterinarian twice annually for a comprehensive examination.

Household Toxins

Ingestion of toxic substances such as antifreeze, rat poison, fermented compost, sugarless gum, prescription medications or other drugs, to name just a few, can be severely dangerous and potentially fatal for your pet.You should contact a local emergency animal hospital immediately if you even suspect your pet has ingested one of these substances.

Learn More

If your pet starts to show these abnormal symptoms, call your Banfield veterinarian to schedule an appointment at one of our locations near you. Your veterinarian will be able to check for illnesses and work with you to provide at-home care and a treatment plan if your pet does get diagnosed with an illness.

You may also want to ask your veterinarian about the Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan. Each plan is designed around your pet to give him or her the best preventive care possible. Every plan comes with early testing for serious illnesses and recommended vaccinations.

You can also learn more by reading in the Preventive Care section of our website, or by reading these suggested articles.